Sunday, August 31, 2014

Have a Kind Sunday!!

What beauty will you make with what you have today, friends?

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Meditation

Today, friends, I want to focus on forgiveness. Not in a macro kind of "forgive me" way, but in a micro, I forgive ____ for ____ kind of way. Today I want you to find a space in nature, or in view of it. Close your eyes and clear your mind. I find that counting breaths until reaching my age works well, so I deeply breathe for 32 breaths. By the time I hit my number my mind has settled down a bit and the counting keeps it from wandering.

Now for the uncomfortable part. Once you've cleared your mind a bit, reflect on something that you've done to someone else. Say, a bad breakup at your hands that could have been handled better or getting hammered at the company picnic, or making fun of someone only to find they're standing right behind you. Ugh. Cringe. I know, right? We've all been there. I could quite possibly be the ambassador for that cringey place.

Once you have that memory in your mind, go through it. What was it that made you do that, say that, or act that way? At that company picnic, were you nervous about your new job so you kept throwing back beers even though you knew your boss was watching? Who were you trying to entertain and why when you started making fun of a person only to realize they heard you and you could see the hurt or anger on their face? What made you break up with that person the way you did? Were you being a chicken, being mean, or just at your wit's end? Really delve into your memory and find the root of why you acted in a way you are ashamed of. It's not fun, but its important to identify the reason you acted the way you did.

In all of my cases it came down to these five things: social anxiety + booze, grief, depression, being overwhelmed (usually because of not listening to my intuition) and/or fear. One of those things was in play every single time I've done something I regret. I know, we aren't supposed to have regrets, or so they tell us- but I do. And I work hard to forgive myself of all the dumb things I've done and said. Have you identified what your root(s) is in this case? Once you do, the next step is surprisingly simple...Let it go.

Release it and forgive yourself. Realize you could have made better choices and that you're human and in this situation you didn't make a good choice for _______ reason. Forgive your past self so your present and future self don't have to lug so much old shit around. I find that writing it down and then lighting the piece of paper on fire helps.  Make a pact with yourself. It could go something like this:

"Hey, regretful self?"

"Yeah, self that's trying to become a better self?"

"You know that time you made a really inappropriate joke at someone's expense at that party, and instead of letting the hurtful joke go, you repeated it...twice? And you watched the person who it was about handle it in a classy way though he/she seemed very hurt by it?"

"Ugh, don't remind me. That memory makes me feel gross."

"Well, you apologized to them. Years ago."

"Yeah, so?"

"So, forgive yourself and let it go. You're a human and humans make mistakes. You've also promised yourself not to do something like that again, even when you're in a social situation that makes you nervous and your first reaction is to crack a joke no matter the cost. Got it? Let it go, kiddo! We can't carry around all these old regrets forever, it's giving us a hunchback!!"

"I guess you're right, but I feel like punishing myself over and over for it is like a way of making up for the mistake in the first place."

"How medieval of you."

"Shut up. I know you're right. I should let it go. I promise I will try my best not to put myself or someone else in that kind of situation again."

"And if you do?"

"I'll think before I speak."

"How novel. And?"

"I'll try to keep positive thoughts and words flowing instead of letting anxiety and the need to please/entertain everybody dominate my psyche."


"And I'll forgive myself for being rude to that person so many years ago. And- I'll release that regret."

"Well done, kiddo. Now go have a cookie." Cue the freeze frame high five!

If that embarrassing scenario sounded too detailed to be made up, it is because that's a real one for me. I did make a hurtful joke, and I did repeat it twice and I did apologize to that person years ago and still held onto that embarrassment and shame for almost a decade!! It may seem small compared to other regrets you could cull from your memory (and it is small compared to some of my life regrets) but it's a place to start. And I have to let go of that little regret in order to become more adept at forgiving myself for the big things. I hope you take the time to release something like this from your heart. You deserve inner peace, but you have to work for it; and you can't have inner peace if you're constantly at war with yourself. Be kind.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Happies!

Hey ya'll! It's Friday. Now, I know y'all are gearing up for a big weekend off. My happy hiney will be at work, working on my meditations and breathing deeply! I hope y'all have a great time no matter what you get into. Here are some Friday happies to usher you into a fantastic, peaceful, and beautiful long weekend!

*The Secret Sisters are a new favorite of mine!

*This story has affected me so much. I just- I can't say it without tearing up. Elephants are just the sweetest, most interesting and emotionally complex animals...

*Never trust a man who, when left alone with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on. Amen!

*I never get tired of Simon's Cat.

*Americans trying Indian food/bev products! Hilarious!

*I can see myself piddling about the garden (that I don't have yet) in this and feeding chickens and what not. Sigh, a girl can dream.

*I've seen every episode! Y'all ready to mosey? Toodleloo!

I hope you have a truly wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Love Yo'self!

Hello friends! It is Thursday- this week seems to be flying by! Well, Thursdays around here are all about self-care and self-love. Taking care of our vessels is paramount. I don't know why it is so hard to take care of ourselves sometimes. We go out of our way for others, yet neglect the one person we are on this planet with for our entire lives! It's bananas people! Total nonsense!

So, in honor of a dear friend who needs a good reminder (you know who you are!) and to remind all of us (myself included) that we must care for ourselves well, first and foremost, before we can truly help others (like the oxygen mask situation on a plane). Heeeere we go!

*The 10 things you must tell yourself today. I really like this one!

*I love this! Kindness meditation. It's so simple and even though it's for children, I think we could all take a page from this book and nurture kindness even in the subtlest of ways. Quite frankly I think we could all take some time and relearn the lessons of childhood so we can be better adults.

*I love a list and an infographic too! Five mantras for daily self-love. I felt particularly drawn to the Nourish, Powerful & Worthy ones. Good stuff!

*Self-love is asking yourself what you need- every day- and making sure you receive it. 
Dang! I really like that!!!

*Wow! This mother/daughter Ecard actually moved me. I didn't expect that from what are usually pretty funny, snarky little throwaways. Good on you, whomever made that one! It certainly does ring true, but I think we can dream bigger than just our children (ahem- since mine don't exist yet) and do this for everyone.

*Because PMS is a bitch, and so is menopause and Mondays and traffic and screaming kids and needy people at work and...anyway- a little something something to make you feel gooooooooooood.

And to my dear friend, let me gently remind you- you are capable of training your thoughts to be kinder toward yourself. The steps you take toward breaking unhealthy and dangerous cycles now, will  benefit you so incredibly much more as you get older (take it from me- 30 ain't no joke and neither will  be 40, 50, 60 or 90! But each year gets even more awesome to make up for it!) Every little thing you do to make your body healthy, happy, and balanced (physically, emotionally and spiritually) will only aid you further along in your life. I love you.

And I love all y'all who read P&PPS. Take care of yourselves. I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Spread the Love

Image courtesy of Danielle Laporte.

It's Wednesday! The day we here (we being me!) take some time to send out some good juju by paying it forward just 5 bucks at a time and encourage you to do the same! It feels good to give and ask nothing in return. I found this quote today and it rang a certain truth for me. Perhaps it will for your too! So, without further ado, here are this week's selection of people, places, animals and things needing some karmic love.

*Several weeks ago, I linked to donate to Turnip the Beet Farms so they could build new greenhouses. I was thrilled to see earlier this week that they made their goal! Let's celebrate! Cheers to all the backers and to TtB! I can't wait to see some updates!

*On that note, I'd love to see the Animal Abuse Defense Registration get to their goal. They are less than a month from their end date. I upgraded my donation from last week today. Help them out here!

*Just help. Emergency Veterinary Services. Those sweet animals.

*While we're at it, Critical Care Program Fund for even more sweet animals in need.

*Help Mr. Geason fight cancer. Wow! What a neat man, and so loved by his former students, friends and family! I never had him as a teacher, but I was indeed moved!

*Help assist children with disabilities here.

*First Book. A way to get books to children in need.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thoughts on Crazy-Makers Part 1

Image courtesy of Anne Taintor.

We all have one (or more) in our lives. We may work with some, live with them, or even love them. Our crazy-makers. These are the folks that, although they may not mean for it, they create chaos around them wherever they go.  Their inner turmoil spills out and attaches itself to the nearest living things.

I've had many. From fair-weather friends to roommates; from relatives to boyfriends to bosses. In fact, not too long ago I had an encounter with a former crazy-maker whom I removed from my life many years ago. Long gone was my anger toward this person. I attempted civility, this person was genuinely trying to be nice. I kind of ruined that one, but it wasn't on purpose. You see, when this friend and I "broke up", so to speak, I fell into that big (and complicated) depression I've mentioned to you all before. That isn't the point though. The point is that when this person and I dispersed, I was overwhelmed with a phenomenally visceral rush of emotions. I had to leave where I was. I felt like I had to run. I couldn't control my sadness. It was bizarre. My body and spirit were trying to cope with things my brain hadn't caught up to yet. What does this have to do with crazy-makers? I'm getting there, hold your horses.

You see, in my case (many times past and present), I was very close to my crazy-maker. I loved this person. I laughed with them. We shared secrets and dreams. We were great friends. I trusted them deeply. When things went lopsided, I felt ripped apart. Like a little kid whose Christmas morning was burning down all around her. In my romantic life, things were better than ever. I'd just met and married the love of my life. However, every single other aspect of my life felt appallingly out of order and it felt like it was because of this person's single-handed ability to destroy everything around them.  I felt like I was collateral damage because of the decisions they made. It was a characteristic of their's we had discussed in varying degrees over the course of our friendship. A "center of the Universe" way of existing that could be harmful to others, almost always unintentionally. And I spent years being angry for the things directly corresponding to that crazy-maker of mine's actions. And in true victim mentally, attributed things to them that were not at all their fault. However I was sad and angry. I was struggling to find a job and was generally just pissed off at the selfish actions of this person that so deeply affected my life, my happiness. At that point, I'm pretty sure I was my mother's crazy-maker (sorry Mom!).

The point is, when I became overwhelmed that day, I cried. I cried in my car, I cried in a parking lot and tried to hold it together in the checkout line at the grocery store. I finally sat my pathetic ass down to write. That's how I figure out what's going on with me. I literally wrote "What is making me so upset?" I answered myself in bullet points. Why this visit brought up so much pain and anger and sadness and I realized that I was simply grieving. I was grieving a future I had imagined for myself. One that made me happier than I am now. I was grieving how happy I was before things went sour. I was young and hopeful and independent. I was taking care of business and feeling confident for the first time as an "adult". I had hope. Hope that I could make something of myself and be a partner with that person possibly in a career move. Bah. It's embarrassing to even write it down, it's sounds whiny!

I looked at this list. I examined it. I forced myself to look at it for a good, long time. Then turned the paper over and asked myself another question..."What can I do to make my life more of what I want?" The things that poured out from me after that, made me happy just to write them. Go to concerts, for example. Something I did regularly (I'm a music nut) back in the day. Something that brought me tremendous happiness and release. It's been years since I've procured tickets for myself to a show that I really really wanted to see. Other simple things came out too. Different activities I can do instead of holing up for a Netflix marathon like I have been during my darker days because I just need an escape from reality. The answers were so simple and again, I was embarrassed that depression put such a veil over my eyes. I couldn't fathom doing any of the things on this list even a few months before and now that I was beginning to crawl out of it and take responsibility for my own nonsense, it all flowed.

I laughed to (perhaps at) myself then. This crazy-maker was one not only because of their own personal and poisonous stuff, but also because I let them be. I let this person wreak havoc because I loved them and allowed them too. That shit's on me. Ooh, not a fun pill to take. But I learned that I can love someone but not allow them to have power over me. I learned (and am still learning) what their individual tornado sirens sound like and am working on building my own little spiritual and emotional storm shelter. I realized that sometimes I am my own worst crazy-maker. That's a big one. But what I'm most thrilled that I learned is that my personal peace is not dictated by anyone else but me. My body is a temple, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually; and you have got to keep that shit tight. Sweep up the dirt, push the boulders out of the way, pull the weeds, plant seeds of change, play some good damn music, clean the windows and let the sunshine in. Deep forgiveness is a big part of that. Forgive them, and forgive yourself.

We are our own peace-makers.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Little Victories!

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Good Monday to you, friends! How was your weekend? Mine was "normal" and spent doing chores (but enjoying it because things had kind of stacked up at the house), planning my week's menu,  and hanging out with my awesome step-dad listening to Irish music.

In the spirit of Mondays on P&PPS, let's celebrate the little victories that give us hope that things are moving forward and that we are progressing however slowly it may seem...

*I didn't order the thing. I went out to eat a lot this weekend. Not typical for me, and boy did I want to order BLT's and many orders of French fries. Instead I ordered salads and salmon and broccoli...and ahem, full disclosure, étouffée (and ate a handful of my husband's fries instead). It may not seem like a victory to you, but it is when you consider I could have eaten a kajillion more calories than I actually did.

*I skipped the drinks. All but two days this week. I usually enjoy a beverage once a night (or twice...) but this week I was really trying to have less and drink for the right reasons (like I want one instead of "I'm stressed, I should have one- I deserve it"). It's paid off in the waist-line department!

*I mailed the thing. Let me be real. I'm bad about mailing things in a timely manner. For example, I have a one year anniversary present for dear friends that I have saved for an entire calendar year that I was supposed to mail last May. Have I mailed said sentiment? Nope. But I did manage to put together a little something for a dear, dear friend who has moved away. She's the friend that sent me cards at every address I've ever lived at when no one else did. It means more than probably anyone realizes, and I've felt rotten for years about not returning the favour. So, I somehow managed to scrounge up some adult-like fortitude and get that shit mailed out. I don't know if she got it, but I know I can finally scratch it off my list. Next? That damn anniversary gift...hoping to get that to them by their 18 monther!

What are your little victories this week, friends? I'd love to know!

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Have a Courageous Sunday!

Image from Pinterest.

Be courageous, dear friends.

And on a personal note, a happy tenth birthday to my sweet pup, Seven (aka Mister Pants, Midder Midder Pumpkin Idder, Little Bit, and Brudder). That little raggamuffin is my heart running around outside my body. To a wonderful decade of love and companionship and many more lovely years! I love you, Budbud!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Creative Saturday Meditation

Hello, friends! I hope this Saturday finds you well. I know from personal experience, it can be challenging to take a few minutes for yourself to decompress, or de-stress. Sometimes I get so frustrated at a lack of inspiration, I busy myself with nonsense instead of taking the time to beckon inspiration to me.

 Today, I want to walk you through a different type of meditation. A meditation for awakening your creativity. Steal some time today and play this song. Close your eyes and let your imagination run wild. Have trouble quieting a busy mind? Try these ideas:

*As the song begins, imagine a glorious blank canvas in your mind's eye. Now picture a fat drop of watercolor paint plopping down onto the page and morphing into different shapes as the music moves you. A dancer, a running horse, a waterfall- whatever your mind takes you to, go with it. Leave perfectionism at the door. This is your place, your sanctuary, your escape from stress. No one can see this but you, so don't allow any negativity or judgement in. Or try this...

*Imagine a day beginning as the song does. Let your imagination create the environment and watch the weather change as the song does. Is it a beach on a cloudless day? A mountain view and a trickling stream? Perhaps walking through a lush forest or bobbing in a canoe on a lake? Are you watching a storm roll in? See what your mind wants to create. Let it take you there. It's only four minutes, but what a difference it can make.

You'd be surprised at how much good little exercises like this does. Cobwebs are swept out and perspectives, inspirations, and positivity trickles in. I hope you enjoy this one, I certainly have.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Happies!

Well, friends! How was your week? Aside from work, I spent it trying new recipes left and right with some pretty spectacular results (these fritters for one, are now a new family favorite!). For a few weeks, I've been attempting to shed the lb.'s I had put on since the big depression hit four years ago, and this week, I discovered that I lost 10% of my goal! I'm pretty excited by that, and hopeful by Thanksgiving, I'll be at my goal. Please note that it isn't a "weight" I'm aiming for, but when first starting one needs the tangible proof of progress (it helps me focus until my clothes get looser). Once that happens, no scale for me! I dislike them fervently. But anyway, that is exciting to me.

Let's keep the happies coming, eh? Get our weekends off on the right foot (I actually have a "normal" weekend this week!)! Heeeeeere we go!

*A little post-work yoga for your neck to help you de-stress on this lovely Friday night. I love the music, it's so happy!!

*I really like this idea! Especially for someone going through a particularly rough patch. It sends all kinds of good energy out there.

*This is something I would definitely do. I wonder if it would work...

*Babies Excited to See Their Parents. Aw! The one at 1:16 had me tickled!**

*This chick always impresses me.

*Hahahaha! Spirit animal!

*I'm not a sweatshirt person, but this one made me giggle!

Have a beautiful day, friends!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Love Yo'self!

Image courtesy of SFL

This week has been a successful self-care week for me. All the things I say I'm going to do or yearn to do to better care for myself, I've actually attempted. Yay! I've been rummaging through my archives online and found loads more awesome things we can do to show our bodies and spirits that we love them.

Our bodies take a beating in so many ways. Even things we can't see, like sun damage, electromagnetic energies, radiation- they are bombarding our bodies 24/7. Our spirits take a pounding from internal and external forces as well. Sometimes our inner voice is far more cruel than anything coming at you from others. Sometimes we are stuck in unhealthy situations at work or in relationships that can slowly but surely erode ours spirits.

Take control. No one will swoop in and save you. You must care for yourself. Your vessel, your heart, your spirit are all under your guardianship. Honor them in every way you can. You are worth the effort. Here are a few new ideas to help you along!

*I drink apple cider vinegar every day in a glass of pure cranberry juice and dandelion root tea. It makes my hair shiny and my skin all glowy. Here's 10 other ways to use it!

*Eat these fresh and fruity salsas while the produce is still so fresh and delicious!

*I'm saving my pennies for a jar of this stuff, but I'm trying this in the meantime.

*Tapping for stress relief. Intriguing!

*I think I'm going to make this sometime next week. Not necessarily for the hair loss, but it sounds so luxurious! Do you think you would try it?

*I've had stretch marks since I was thirteen. Yay, genetics! I think I'm going to give this a whirl too. Hope is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

*The one thing my husband and I always try to do for ourselves is keep nice candles in the house. Is that silly? Maybe. But, there is something about it that makes us feel like we are really on the path we want to be (after years of tough times). We don't go shopping, we rarely go out to eat, haven't been to a movie in three years...yet, we procure one nice, lovely-smelling candle every other month or so to keep a peaceful ambiance in the house. I have the Marine scented version of this right now and I absolutely love it.

Do y'all have any self-care secrets or treatments or things you do to show yourself love? I'd like to hear them!

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spread the Love.

Happy Pig courtesy of nayamina.

Wednesdays are unique. You're half thrilled that the workweek is over, but kind of "blech" that there are still two days left. I feel it is sometimes overlooked as something you have to get through. I don't even have a regular work week yet I always find myself in that funny "Wednesday Place", thinking I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I think Wednesday is a good day to take inventory of your week. See where you may have fallen off the bandwagon and make a few changes to boost your good vibes.

Have you fallen into any negativity traps? Have you had successes?! Either way, use this time to realign yourself on the positivity tracks and/or celebrate your victories. Here are some ways you can put some good out there and help others in need. Remember, every little thing makes a difference, even just $5.

*Turnip the Beet Farm was featured here several weeks ago! They're almost to their goal! Help them out! Yay! That's so exciting!

*Help the residents of Sasha Farm Sanctuary & Safe Haven for Animals! You can even sponsor an animal like Rosie the Emu, Precious the Pig, or Johan the Mule. I think I may just do that. I can't resist those little faces!

*Best Friends Animal Society. A way to save homeless pets. Save them all.  It's a really beautiful organization and, like SASHA, you can sponsor an animal- even ones with special needs. I've been quite moved spending time on their page.

*Help Clinton & George find a home. What strong and resilient boys indeed. Wow.

*Help keep a roof over Kristal's head in Ahoskie, North Carolina.

*One last gift for Nurse Amy.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Yummy Sanctuaries

Image courtesy of A Cozy Kitchen.

I love food. I used to be more of a "eat to live" person but have steadily grown into a "lives to eat" type of gal over the years. I've mentioned before that Dionysus blessed me heartily with a love of good food and good drinks. Glazes, cocktails, sauces, round robust mushrooms exploding with flavor,  creamy melty cheeses, tangy pomegranate seeds popping in your mouth! Oh my goodness, I could go on (and on and on and on!)

The thing is, I work with a lot of people that do not have this relationship with food. It is simply sustenance. Well, I'm here to tell you sustenance doesn't have to be microwaved or boring. It can be fresh and delicious and give you the boost you need to make better choices for yourself as each opportunity presents itself. Feeding yourself is a spiritual act as well as a physical act. You are giving yourself fuel, energy and what you shove down that gullet of yours can determine what kind of energy you've got going on there.

So for this lovely Tuesday, here are some easy, cheap, healthy and fantastic meal and beverage ideas for you. I hope you can incorporate some into your week to perhaps give you a shove toward the positive.

*For these last weeks of summer, Blueberry Cucumber Salad with Feta and Lemon. I'd probably sub goat cheese because, well- goat cheese is my jam. Doesn't that sound so fresh and lovely?! Make a big batch and separate it into containers for easy-grab lunch sides. Particularly when you find yourself in a drab, windowless office for an extremely short lunch break...just me? Ha!

*I make this regularly and I love it. It's easy to make vegetarian too, if that's how you roll. Get it? Roll? Because it's on a roll! I crack myself up. But seriously, it's delicious.

*Roasted Grape Ricotta Crostinis with Rosemary and Pine Nuts. Oh de-lolly! That sounds magnificent. I'm making this this week! So damn easy, it's bananas!

*Growing up, I never had a healthy relationship with cauliflower. As I've delved more into luxuriously eating on the cheap, I've found that cauliflower is a bad ass. It is such a diverse vegetable. Sweet and nutty, just like me! These baked cauliflower bites look divine! Bake some of those up on a Sunday and have a popcorn shrimp-like situation all week long!

*Need a sweet treat? Check these beautiful bitches out. I'mma have to take all them, kthanks!

*Thirsty? Try this Cucumber Lemonade Mocktail.

*Or perhaps something a bit naughtier...

Do you have any healthy "quick-fixes" that you enjoy? I'd love to know! Share below!

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Little Things

Two ecstatic boys en route to Grandma's for spoiling. We may be rough around the edges, but we've got love!

Mondays are hard enough as it is, we may as well celebrate the little victories that making getting through the day (and week) a little bit easier! I'm sharing a few of my little victories in hopes that it will inspire you to take notice the choices you make that turn the tides toward a more peaceful and positive life. Please share some of your little victories with me below, I'd love to know!

So, without further ado...

*I didn't stress-react. In the past, if confronted with a stressor, I would react. I would have a drink, have a cigarette, have a chocolate, have a bitch or a snark, or have a (long) mental escape. I encountered several situations in which I was hit with a sudden and frustrating stressor this week. Each and every time it happened, my first thought went to: WINE! COMFORT FOOD! CHOCOLATE! SUPERNATURAL MARATHON ON NETFLIX!! Anything to make myself feel better. Instead, I told myself that the temporary fix wouldn't actually fix anything. I made myself cope like a grown-ass woman, and told myself that I will indeed have a glass of wine or a chocolate or Dean Winchester fix (meowr!), when I am in a calm and more centered place. A place where I can enjoy it without running away from whatever it is I was running away from. It worked, multiple times in fact! I coped (multiple times...). I saved money too, and I put a wrench in the stress-react cycle too. I had dozens of moments and in any one of them I could have kept the cycle going, but each time I realigned myself, the temptation grew weaker. It was rather empowering, actually!

*I went digital free for an evening, sort of. Not a big deal for me really, but I got my husband on the digi-free train for an evening and that was a victory. We spent a Saturday night playing records from his collection and my dad's that he gave us. It was so much fun! My husband pulled questions from Reddit (okay so he used his phone for that) and we spent the night answering all these funny questions like "What's actually as bad as people say it is?" or "If someone offered you $10,000 with the condition that you had to spend it in 4 hours, what would you spend it on?" or "What's something you find attractive that others do not?" and my favorite, "What is a feature that you would want to reasonably include in your own home?" We sat around, getting up occasionally to flip over a John Anderson, Dire Straits or Delbert McClinton record and just chatted about things. Something I noticed people don't do very often without texting, checking FaceTube, playing a video or googling something random. It was gloriously simple, the wine flowed and the conversation was interesting and lovely. A little victory for  a 21st century couple to be slightly more unplugged than usual. I hope to make that a regular part of my evening routine.

*We took the pups to see their "grandparents", or one set of them anyway. Usually when we get together for family dinner, we're too tired to deal with the dogs coming with us. I had this horrible moment when I realized it had been months since they'd gone on a car ride to my Mom's house (she lives four miles away!). So we scrubbed the little one (he's always dirty) and loaded the boys up and took them over there where they immediately got spoiled. The big boy, Comodino, went from person to person getting his ears rubbed. The little one, Seven, begged his Grandma for walks and treats and spent a good bit of time cuddled up in my arms drooling as he snoozed. So cute. It took a moment. It was one little choice to give these boys and their "grandparents" some quality time together. All I had to do was not be selfish or lazy about it. I feel terrible that it took me so long. I hope to make that a regular thing too. I'm a work in progress, what can I say?

Try to take some time today to acknowledge the little things you've done to make your day and life better. Not getting the $4 latte because you're on a budget, or taking an extra ten minutes when you walk your dog so he or she can sniff around a little bit longer. Maybe letting the older person behind you in checkout line go ahead of you. These things don't hurt, but they do help a tremendous amount in a million different tangible ways. You may find that each little thing snowballs into big, buoyant, beautiful change.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Poison-Free Sunday!

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

It will happen inevitably. Someone will make a snarky comment aimed to hurt you. Most of the time, if you work at it, you can learn to deflect these things. A comment on your job performance, weight, looks, laugh, feet, family! It's all up for grabs for "mean" people to try to bring you down, it seems. The reality is, in an attempt to distract from their own issues (which are most likely far worse then they are even trying to make you feel) they sling negativity around to see what sticks. Some don't realize they're doing it on a conscious level. That's sad (and all too familiar in my experiences).

But, it's still a bit sick and I've known so many of these people. At one point or another we've all been that person too. Ugh, it's embarrassing to admit. However, take some time today to really evaluate who it is that is throwing the proverbial spaghetti noodles against the wall (if it's you, then that's a whole other post, stay tuned!). Who is it, and why the hell are you listening to them? What power do you allow them to actually have over you?

And once you look at them objectively and see where their bile comes from, it is easier to release the anger they made (or attempted to make) you feel. The self-doubt too. Let it go, knowing that no one, NO ONE, is allowed the power to control the way you feel about yourself except you. Even if they are a parent, a spouse, a sibling, best friend, coworker or acquaintance. Really, no one is allowed to do that to you. You control how they make you feel.

Don't lose those sixty seconds of happiness. It's human to get angry, of course, but don't let someone dominate you with cruelty. Don't drink their poison. Be kind to yourself. Be kind and/or civil to them.  Establish and know your boundaries. Let them go, fill that space with affirming thoughts and fun things to do and be. Pretty soon, you'll be too busy living a fulfilling life to let the bastards get you down.

May you have a truly wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Meditation

This image courtesy of BBC.

Even though I live in North Florida, I am starting to see signs that Summer is indeed fading away. Though, I am all about Autumn, I have to say I'm sad to see Summer dwindling. The days are getting shorter, there is a whisper of chill on the air at night. The fruits and vegetables in my parent's garden are going to seed.

A few days ago, I had a moment of nostalgia watching the setting sun lay long, wide swaths of golden light across my yard. I was reminded of what it was like to be a kid this time of year. Like a wild animal, you could feel it in your bones- the season was indeed changing. There weren't as many lightning bugs, the thunderstorms were less frequent. You couldn't quite stay in the pool or ocean as long as you could two weeks before without getting cold. What lay ahead began running through your mind. New books, new school clothes, new friends.

As if, at an old-fashioned ball- the adventures ahead lay before you like a vast and glistening buffet; and behind you the Summer steps solemnly, but gracefully back from the dance floor; waving at you and tucking her dance card away until next time.

Take pleasure in the last waltzes with Summer this weekend. Step outside in the heat and wriggle your toes in the grass. It's something you always miss in the Winter. Watch the sun set, feel the heat mix with the tendrils of Autumn cool. Have a cookout. Look at the stars. If you're a night owl look for shooting stars (last vestiges of the Perseid meteor shower from earlier this week). Eat watermelon,   run through the sprinkler like a kid, or splash in a pool. Eat OtterPops, and mango salsa. Dance. Remember dancing was a part of our lives when we were kids and its so appropriate for the end-of-Summer spectacular! Dance your face off to your favorite Summer tunes while they still feel relevant and haven't shimmied through the cracks into "memories" yet.

We have but a few weeks left of Summer, steal every moment you can. Be present and grateful and happy.

I truly hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Happies!

How can you not be happy looking at that face?! Image courtesy of All Creatures. 

Does it seem like time just whooshes by sometimes? It certainly has felt that way to me this week and whether or not you get "normal" weekends, here are some funs, sillies, happies and pretties to usher you into the weekend (or power through it until your next day off)!

*Laughter therapy. I regularly do this. Not just because I love John Cleese (and baby, I sure do- meowr!), but also because the body needs laughter. It needs silliness (silliness endorphins!). Sometimes I feel a laugh coming for no reason and I just let it out. It's the best feeling! The quality of the sound on the video isn't tremendous but give it a real watch. I bet you'll start laughing.

*Speaking of which, this made me laugh out loud!

*I want to go to there.

*I'll wear this to the end of the world and back. Good grief, does that look cosy! And while we're at it, these too. 

*Ooh, ooh, ooh! I want one for crisp Autumn mornings (apparently in my mind I don't live in Florida, I live somewhere that has a friggin' Autumn) in which I have nothing of import to do and the cosiest pajamas to wear! I can see I need a reminder of this today!

*Also made me laugh out loud. "What excellent boiled potatoes."

*This would be fun for a small dinner gathering! Though, most likely it will be me and a friend just doing a version of this.

*Yes, please!

*I made the best (I mean the best) shrimp and grits last week. I mean, wow! Here's the recipe! Ultimate comfort food.

What makes you get out of a funk? Makes you laugh? Is your ultimate comfort food? Ideal snuggle wear or fashion for Fall? I'd love to know!

I truly hope y'all have a wonderful day (and weekend)!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Love Yo'self!

I enjoy that Colbie Caillet's video and song, "Try", is getting attention for empowering today's youths with body-loving pride. But I, being a child of the 80's & 90's, immediately was reminded of a song and artist (Natalie Merchant) who blew our young, impressionable and bepimpled faces off in  the summer of '95 with this female-centric, spirit-based song, Wonder. Enjoy it with me, kiddos. Don't just skip it. Of course the video is a little cliche, all these kinds of videos can be...but the lady cutting out paper chain dolls (a dying art- I loved doing that as a kid!!) and making them dance together...I have to say, it moved me. I hadn't listened to that song aside from the random playings at the grocery store, since I had the album Tigerlily playing nonstop back in the day (sometimes I really miss the 90's!).

Give the lyrics a listen too, or look them up and give them a read. "Fate smiled and destiny, laughed as she came to my cradle, know this child will be able. Laughed as my body she lifted, know this child will be gifted. With love, with patience, and with faith. She'll make her way.*". It has so much merit and it made me a more confident and positive woman today. See if it helps you too. Honor yourself, honor the little miracles we were, and have grown to be.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

*Personal note, not all faith is religious obviously, but sometimes a reminder is needed. Sometimes it can be faith in others, in tomorrow. Faith in humanity. Faith in ourselves. Faith in love, and most definitely in hope.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Every little thing...

Image courtesy of Ocala Style

How is your week going, friends? Need a pick-me-up? Perhaps you are looking for a way to manifest some good in your life? As I mentioned last week, sometimes the best way to do that is by bringing good into someone else's world. Take some time to peruse these organizations and charities. You may find something that speaks to you, or perhaps it will spring something to mind in your own neighborhood that you can help. Remember, even just $5 can make a difference in someone's day and life or the life of an animal. Isn't that wonderful? I think so. I know several of these got my dollars this week!

*Animal Abuse Defense Registry. A way to make sure adopted animals are going to a safe home. I love that idea.

*Help rebuild Broadway Lights Dance Center in Gulf Breeze, Florida. It was nearly destroyed by heavy storms. How can you resist those little ballerina tutus?!

*A way to help "decision-makers" chart recovery in the Gulf of Mexico. I'm a Gulf Coast girl, and the ecosystems here are stunning, however they have suffered so much. This would be a cool way to give back.

*On that note, save our manatees! I love manatees. I want to hug them and if I ever get to be an eccentric billionaire, I will create a huge manatee sanctuary and bob around in the water with them for hours trying to steal hugs from these sweet creatures. I know one is not supposed to harass the wildlife, but they're just so lovely and an important part of their ecosystem. I physically have to hold back the hugs!!

*Help make sure no child goes to bed hungry. A big feat, but a noble one! Feed the children.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Small Sanctuaries

Image from

I love love gardens and plants. I however, have never really lived in an apartment conducive to growing them. Small yards (destroyed by my two dogs), windows with little or extremely dim light... Argh! And yet, I'm always perusing Pinterest for more inspirations on my future gardens and ways to make the best of my current situation. I have a small succulent garden on the teeny weeny windowsill in my kitchen. It is about all I can finagle at the time. I glean a lot of peace from my miniature garden. I have a tendency to meditate there for small stolen moments. I often look out to the night sky and look for the moon, or watch the rain hit the glass. Sometimes, if I'm being a good girl, I watch the sun come up and drink a warm mug of lemon water. It's important to have a place for peace and a sanctuary. So, for some fun littles today, I thought I'd share some cool ways to have a garden space inside your home and some inspirations for your yard, if you have one or just want to dream of one.

 Try to cull a small sanctuary for yourself. Even one little herb plant or flower will do the trick. Connecting to nature even in a tiny way can have a hugely soothing affect on your psyche and in how you approach your day. It can ease anxiety and help you gather yourself before a heavy work day or a big test. Make for yourself a peaceful place. You deserve it.

*A garden made of ladles!

*Where I'd spend the morning alone and the evenings with my loved ones.

*This one made me laugh. Fire escape plant shelf!

*A tabletop succulent garden how-to. 

*Oooh! A tabletop water garden! I love this idea!!

*One way my itty bitty backyard could have some impact! While you're at it, my Garden board on Pinterest. I seriously escape to it for inspiration all the time!

I hope you have a truly wonderful day.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Little Things

Image courtesy of my awesome Pinterest board.

Last week I talked about a few of my little victories in life. It's nothing earth-shattering, however, those little victories add up to so much change so very quickly, it can be astounding! Here is a handful of mine this week, reminders that not all is lost if you slip up here and there (and have that third glass of wine- hiccup!)

*I was having a blue day. Shit happens, you know? Weird dreams partnered with a wicked sinus headache. I knew I was going to be working with someone on the job that has been a psychic and emotional drain lately. I let the negativity in a little bit; but on the way to work, I gave myself a pep talk. I literally quoted myself from this blog to myself. Weird? Maybe. I need this blog just as much as anyone else reading. Anyway- I got into work and I fought the negativity. It took a lot more effort because I had already let it in, but I did it smile after smile. Mantra after mantra, I plowed through eight hours of needy clients and stayed positive. Even when two clients insulted me several times, by the time they left I had them smiling and telling me to "stay fun". I'd say that's a victory- and I didn't feel like wadded up street garbage by the time I got off work either. Huzzah! Oh- and that co-worker I was worried about? She was inexplicably in a good mood all day...huh! Wonder why?

*I ignored a few negativity traps. Do you know what these are? I bet you do. You can almost sense a set up for them, particularly when you are trying to practice peace and positivity. A co-worker asks: "How're you doing today?" and you can hear it in their voice that they want to complain when you turn around and say "Fine, how are you?". Instead of falling into one of those, I decided to say "FANTASTIC!" or "I'm really doing well! How about you? I bet your night off was wonderful!". It disarmed the negativity traps and forced them to attempt to make more pleasant small talk. I've been a beast of negativity in these situations in the past, using my sarcasm to bitch about this or that because I didn't like my job (or this or that or another thing). Of' course there are the ones who will say, "HORRIBLE. Everything went wrong!". In those cases, I find its best and easiest to say something along the lines of: "Oh that's a shame! I hope that you have a much better day today." or simply smile and say: "I'm sorry to hear that." and walk away. The best way to remove a negativity monster from your presence is to starve it. Don't play with them. Those bastards bite, and they are venomous. Truck on like a boss with positivity shooting out from your fingers and toes and smile!!

*I didn't buy the thing. My husband and I are on a budget. Well, der- everyone is these days. But I've got a plan. A nest egg plan and a debt-free plan. I'm a bit of a terrier about these things usually but haven't been for a few years because Depression and Dionysus blessed me heartily with an exhausted set of coping mechanisms and deep love of pleasure and wine and good food (Oh yeah, and laziness). When I'm bored at work or running late, or tired on my way home I'll often stop and pick up a thing. A quick-fix lunch, a wine or beer, a dinner out when I don't feel like cooking, a thing I don't need but just feel I deserve. I didn't buy the thing this week! Well, in full disclosure, I did twice (beer for the hubs- but I did that on the cheap so, snaps!). But twice out of the potential of possibly 19 times (and way more monies). That's pretty great. I saved beaucoup bucks. I didn't feed the shame spiral of spending more than I should or regretting this or that. Just that will help me feel stronger and more capable and confident for the upcoming week! I'll take that 89% success rate instead of the 11% not-failing rate, yes sir'ee.

 Did you have any little victories this week? I'd love to know, please share below!

I hope you have a truly wonderful day, y'all. Cheers!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Empowering Sunday!

Aloha friends! How about some body love and confidence from one Gabourey Sidibe?! Give yourself a hug and look at your face in the mirror today and say something empowering and specific about you! Something along the lines of, "I have strong legs and a fantastic laugh!" or "I kick ass in stressful work situations and my booty is fly!" I'm reminding myself today that I have taken great strides in being healthier and happier this week!" and "I love my dark, straight hair and light eyes, it makes me feel connected to my ancestors!"Spread the love outward and inward, y'all! You may be surprised at what sticks and how much others notice your personal radiance.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Image courtesy of Back on Pointe

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weekend Meditation

Image supplied by WMS

We are constantly surrounded by sound. Traffic, radios, cell phones, babies crying, children needing something, spouses, friends, co-workers, people on the street, cash registers beeping... Sometimes I wonder how on earth we are expected to hear ourselves think. Particularly if you are the caretaker in your family (even if you are single or have no children or pets- you are still the caretaker of your family unit).

There is a Full Moon this weekend. It is called the Grain Moon or the Corn Moon. It is the first Full Moon of traditional (see "ye olde") harvest season and it is special. Not only because it is usually big and coppery in color, but also because it is looked upon as a mini-Thanksgivingy celebratory moon. A time of great harvest (think of all the fresh produce bursting forth this time of year) and greater gratitude.

So often we forget to be thankful for the bounties around us. Just like with the noises that surround us constantly; we can become immune to the simple, singular beauty of looking outward with reverence and gratitude. I think it's a wonderful practice to grow your gratitude much like your muscles and your imagination, by working it out every single day.

Please try to take some time to quiet your mind this weekend. Sit outside and try to see the Corn Moon or make out constellations. Bring home some sunflowers and use them as a reminder to take a moment whenever you can. Breathe deeply and listen to crickets or a thunderstorm from your window. If you live in a loud city, try an app like White Noise and choose a nature sound that speaks to you. Close your eyes and allow your mind to settle down quietly into itself. You may have to shoo out anxious thoughts or that voice inside that says you don't have time for this. 

You do have time for this. In fact, you need this.

Be still with yourself. Let the sounds of this season speak to you. Maybe you can identify insect and bird calls you didn't recognize by imitating them in your mind and looking them up later. It beats refreshing FaceTube for the one billionth time and you learn about the immediate world around you. Your ecosystem. It's a beautiful thing.

While you're at it, send some thanks out to the world. However you do it, do it. Sing a song, say a prayer, light a candle, spread your hands out into the sky and smile, hug someone or something- even yourself. It all works. It all goes to the same place, and hopefully- you'll find a sweet spot to nestle into within yourself while being present in your current environment. 

Try it- it totally works and it is but the work of a moment that can change every thing.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day and weekend!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Happies!

Adorable baby otter image by imgur.

Well, lovely people- we have certainly made it through another week. For those of you who have "normal" weekends, let's get it kicked off right! And for those of you, like me, who are working all weekend...hell- to everyone reading! Let's have a glass of wine or sparkling water or mega-green smoothie or whatever you like and enjoy some cool and/or happy, and/or unique, peaceful, kind and incandescent moments!

*Quitting sugar, but need something sweet? I kicked added/refined sugar a few months ago...and I'm completely happy with that for three weeks a month, which -ahem- leaves one week a month to, you a lunatic. And in that week-- I could care less about anything but chocolate. Therefore I enjoy one week of guilt-free indulgence, no apologies! Iiiitttttt's pretty great.

*Absolutely fresh and delicious-looking (and super easy) supper recipe!

*Oooooh, nostalgia! Big hits of the summertime, circa 1990's. From Toni Braxton to TLC; from Ace of Base to Hanson. It's pretty great, for a ride down squirm & memory lane. Was everything rayon/nylon/straightening iron then? Seriously?! So great. (Admission: I had a framed print-out picture of Hanson by my bed, Summer '97. Oh yeah.). I also realized I remember every line to almost all these classics on the list to this day. Wow.

*A great book my Mama gave me as a gift. I have referenced it in cocktail party conversations many times. Plus, if you're truly a book nerd, like me, then you'll definitely go mad for it.

*I want to go to there.

*Great article. How to recognize signs the Universe is presenting to you. 

*I will take three thousand of these, please. They smell like tobacco and cosiness and all things rainy-day lovely. Oh and one of these too.

I truly hope you have a wonderful day, and weekend!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Love Yo'self!

Image courtesy of Wellness 360.

Well, how did you do last week? Did you try any of the DIY care recipes? I'm going to start using the baking soda face polish for sure. Everyone I've talked to about it seems to have tried it and loved it. Thursdays on PP&PS are all about self-care, and without further ado, more ideas on how we can care for our bodies and skin and spirits a little bit better this week. Anything you do that's a surefire self-love fix? I'd love to hear!

*Turmeric milk for colds, flu, & depression. I have to say, I'm intrigued. Especially because I spent the first part of the week in bed with a case of the "trying not to pukes" something that is going around my office. Ew.

*Fight human trafficking in your jammies. I love the Punjammies company. You can get a beautiful pair of pajama pants handmade by women who have been removed from forced prostitution and are taught a trade to make a living wage. Cosy and beautiful gift for you or your friends, and it helps a lot of women and their children. I want the Ratna full-length. Beautiful all the way around!

*I am definitely giving this a try this week. It sounds relaxing.

*Ginger Sugar Scrub for face and body. Oh that sounds so invigorating! Now if it came with a strong-handed massage therapist to apply it it would be even better!

*Because shimmying to sexy music is a great way to care for your body and have fun too!

*Meditation to help with depression. Nice to have in your back pocket for a rough patch.

I truly hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Just a little bit!

Image courtesy of Google.

The truth of the matter is, when it comes to giving, the word "only" comes up a lot. I'm only one person or I only have five dollars, it (or I) can't make a difference. But every little thing makes a difference. Even in "slacktivism", my main form of giving. I want to be more involved in organizations I believe in, and I'm getting there. However, my current situation is such that I don't have regular hours or time off, so it's a bit of a challenge to get to a meeting or a clean-up project or a rally. Most likely its a bit of tiredness mixed with a bit of laziness. Like I said, I am working on getting there (it's a personal project!).

Instead of wringing my hands and beating myself up for not being as generous with my time as I'd prefer to be, I donate whenever I can to different organizations, KickStarters and things of the like. Usually it's just five bucks. That's what I can let go of knowing my bank account won't be overdrawn. It isn't a lot, but I know for a fact that it can make a difference to someone in need because I have been in need before.

It is so wonderful to see someone get the care they need, or a bus for their students, or whatever else it is! Five bucks by five bucks I can make a difference in someone else's life. It keeps the good karma and good energies flowing and I need nothing in return. It isn't anything earth-shattering here. I'm not telling you anything you probably didn't already know. But if you are having a bad day, instead of spending that $5 bill on a comfort food or instant fix to try to feel better, trying giving that $5 away to someone who needs it. It's soul food, kiddos and it's oh-so good!

Here are some people or organizations to donate to if you feel so inclined or tell me other ways you give in person or online! I'd love to hear your ideas.

*Seer farms is a cool place. They help people who can't care for their animals (think service men and women or people who have lost their jobs etc.) no matter the timeframe, no matter the animal.

*Desert Farm Initiative. Help squelch a food desert in Baltimore!

*East Nashville Radio, a station that plays real, good music (the stuff you won't find on the typical radio) and has cool music shows every week. It's the brainchild of a guy in Nashville's music business that wanted a gathering place for artists that they could create whatever they want and still get played. I listen to it nearly every day. I love the Whiskey Wednesday show and my husband loves Tommy Womack's show on Fridays. The man who runs ENR, Richard Carpenter, uses the donations to pay for the rites to the artists for their music. Good stuff! (Plus, we love their t-shirts too!) Oh, and p.s. Richard is my dad, and he's awesome. :-)

*Help all kinds of people who have been affected by natural disasters. You can even shop (don't know if that's the right way to say it) by disaster like Colorado Flood, or victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

*Turnip the Beet Farm needs help building two greenhouses! Five bucks for the great name alone!

*Help Dollipop get to Europe to perform! Hell yeah! Love it.

I truly hope you have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Choosy Folks Choose Happiness...

Photo courtesy of me. :-)

My husband and I went out of town this weekend. Now, this is not something we can typically afford and we had a blast! A total blast with too much beer, but a blast nonetheless. We met some nice people and some who weren't having the best of days.

I'm a very sensitive person. Like a sponge, I absorb what people are chucking out into the world and a lot of people don't give a rat's ass that they throw chaotic energy and negativity out like solar flares. I've been working on deflecting negativity (it's an issue at work and well-life) and not letting other people's issues poison me as it has in the past oh- say 32 years.

There is this Polish proverb I found that says "Not my monkeys, not my zoo". This phrase has aided me so much this past week. It helped me decide to start this blog, to be positive no matter what gets thrown at me; and hilariously some negative juju was thrown my way this weekend. I would have considered being rude or cleverly veiling an insult right back to this person, but instead I laughed. She, poor thing, was hammered at the beach town we were visiting. She went from being drunk and amiable to quite mean in a matter of seconds, calling me and one of the servers at the bar "c--t-faced whores" for no reason and made fun of my signature red lipstick.

That, to me, is so friggin' funny now. The server and I joked about it all night. We turned some bizarre Harmony Korine moments into fodder for laughter, and laughter can fix a lot of things. The next day I spent mostly alone as my husband paid the price for the delicious beers we consumed. I took myself out to breakfast, treated myself to exactly what I wanted on the menu and enjoyed watching everyone. I smiled at strangers and accidentally listened to their conversations. When people approached me, which funnily happens a lot when I dine alone, I had very pleasing, brief but engaging conversations. I learned a lot about a handful of people I would have never gotten to meet otherwise.

The point of that rambling is that just a shift in your mindset can unravel a fantastic world of kindness. Giving a sincere compliment to someone, enjoying the small sweetnesses around you instead of looking at your phone every five seconds. Allowing for the option of not being disappointed is so very very liberating. Plus, it is really a great feeling to see that you made someone's day brighter.

It is easier than you think to simply choose happiness. I can vouch, I've suffered from depression for most of my life. It is still possible to choose happiness, to choose kindness. I hope that today you find as many opportunities to choose happiness and kindness and generosity of spirit. It's worth it to feel that good, even if you haven't yet decided that you're worth it.

You are. And so are the people you will positively affect as well.

I truly hope you have a wonderful day.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Little Victories

An old picture of me and my baby love. He was five then, his tenth birthday is in 20 days! They grow up so fast! 

Mondays can feel brutal. I think sometimes its quite a good idea to celebrate little victories; things that normally could have ruined your day but you chose not to let them. You chose instead to be proactive, or even less reactive (in some cases). I thought it'd be encouraging to list a few of my little victories in hopes to inspire you to take notice of yours. Too often we take notice of the things that go wrong instead of all the things we do right or better or more peacefully; but those little things add up so quickly! Please share some of your little victories with me, I would genuinely love to know!

*I accidentally gave myself a paper cut at work the other day. Yes I yelled "Fuck ME!!" super loudly in the back office. Then I took a moment and just looked at my surroundings. I was rushing like mad for no real reason. There was no time limit on my task and yet I was plowing it through it when I didn't need to. A bad habit I've picked up, I guess, somewhere along the line. So, you know what I did? I slowed the hell down. I made sure I was doing my task correctly, not just quickly and it saved my sweet little digits more abuse (and possibly even prevented some errors). It didn't even take that much more time, but it my dear friends, was a little victory for me.

*I didn't eat all the peanut butter M&M's. Was I PMSing? Oh yes. Could I have eaten a chocolate covered foot at that point? Um, probably! But I didn't. I grabbed a handful and ate them while rolling my eyes to the back of my head and making obscene sounds. Then I left the rest for some other moment of need. I don't know about y'all but that's one heck of a victory in my book! And that handful of candies, tasted better than that whole bag would have- I'm sure of it.

*Instead of going straight upstairs to work on yet another task or fold laundry or get my stuff ready for work the next day; I stopped on the stairs and called to my pup. He's almost ten, but he's forever my baby. I felt I hadn't been paying him enough attention lately. So I sat on the stairs and played with him. I buried my face into his little sweet-smelling, super-soft fur and gave him so many kisses he was like "Aw Moooomm, stahp!!!" But he loved it. I loved it. We played tug of war with his favorite toy. It took about five minutes. It would have been five minutes without him I would have missed one day. That is a victory and oh, I love that little boy so much it aches!

Funny how little victories can seem so very big after all, no? What are some of yours? I'd love to know!

I truly hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pleasant Sunday!

Hello friends! Here is a little dose of positivity and an affirmation for you to enjoy a (hopefully) peaceful Sunday! I truly hope you have a wonderful day!

This picture provided by Honeycomb & Hive.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

An Exercise in Being Present Today

Image from sodahead.

As Summer winds down, I find myself longing for Autumn. For sweaters and pumpkin everything. However I also find that as Autumn winds down I long for crisp, cold, silver Winter; and then brilliant, fragrant, leafy Spring.

Right now it is that beautiful window of time where, even throughout the daily grind, one can easily remember the long golden afternoons, the lightning bugs, going to sleep exhausted from swimming and playing knowing that it was one day closer to school starting back and Summer being officially over.

In a lot of cultures, the beginning of August is the beginning of harvest season. When those fantastic explosions of Summer fruits and vegetables are cascading forth in a last hoorah before the chills of Autumn arrive.

I ask you to take some time today, breathe deeply and be present for this time of year. For the gradually shortening days that are still long and hot and heavy with crickets at night. Take some time for campfires and swimming holes. For bright happy sunflowers stretching their faces to the sun. For evenings that begin a denim blue and seem to take forever to deepen. For Summer storms and ice cold drinks. Fresh watermelon and tomatoes. Popcicles and sunglasses slipping on the bridge of your nose.

Take some time to be out in it. To feed the birds some sunflower seeds, to eat a big bowl of cool fresh produce, and to watch the sun slowly creep below the horizon. Play some ultimate Summer music. Whatever floats your boat and takes you to a peaceful place.

Each day is beautiful in its own way. We only get so many. Join me in celebrating exactly where we are today. In these stunningly slow, hot, humid blissful days of Summer. They will be but a memory before you know it.

I truly hope you have a wonderful day.

Friday, August 1, 2014


Fridays always seem fun to me. It has stuck in my head as such even though I don't have normal weekends in my job. Friday night rolls around and I get excited like I'll get to sit down and watch T.G.I.F. on television (Sabrina the Teenage Witch!) and get a pizza for my sleepover. It's funny how those things stick with you!

Anywho, it's Friday and I'm off to spend a quiet weekend with my husband down on the coast. Here are some funs & happies for you to peruse and enjoy!

*Turn torn leggings into lampshades?! Intrigued! Would you try it? I totally might!

*I've read this a million times but every time I find it, I read it again. It was about the wrong guy!!

*Ha-larious. Suuuper awkward. And then ha-larious again.

*Just take my money.

*Help these kids get a bus! I donated, but they still need your help!

*I love interior design, and this house is great (a little Danish too-too for my taste, but it's not my house). However, I love LOVE the little bedroom nook. When the hubs and I find a smaller apartment, I want to make something like that. It's so very cosy!

*I'm a Southern girl and have beaucoup mason jars laying around the house. This would be something cool to try, perhaps for gifts (yes I'm already thinking of Winter holidays).

*And finally, a piece of my heart resides in New Orleans. I was so happy to see Jon Batiste & Stay Human on Colbert the other night take their music out into the streets and parade around New York. I was furthermore thrilled that they did it multiple times! There are too many videos to choose from , so here's a fun one from the subway. Shake your tail feathers, mes amis! Laissez les bon temps rouler!!

I truly hope you have a wonderful day!